20 Historical Photos of Downed Luftwaffe Aircraft during the Battle of Britain

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aircraft-wreck-battle-of-britain (All photos are in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons, sources below)

For three months and three weeks during the summer and Autumn of 1940, the Battle of Britain raged in the skies over southern England. The first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, Germany’s efforts to gain air superiority over Britain by destroying airfields, factories, ground infrastructure and Channel convoys were repelled against all odds by the pilots of RAF Fighter Command.

Britain’s decisive victory prevented Hitler from launching Operation Sea Lion – the German invasion of Britain – and is considered a major turning point in World War Two. But the cost was significant – 544 allied and 2,698 German aircrew killed in action, with 1,547 British and 1,887 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed.

The outcome of the Battle of Britain marked the first major defeat of German forces during the Second World War, leading to Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s immortal words: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

This article examines 20 historic photographs of Luftwaffe aircraft wrecks after they were forced to crash land on British soil. (Interesting fact: the scrap metal from crashed German aircraft was melted down and recycled by the UK aviation industry.)

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aircraft-wreck-battle-of-britain-20 (Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

Keep reading – explore the Ghostly Images of Britain’s Abandoned Wartime Airfields, as shown on Google Earth.

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